With Brad Friedman & Desi Doyen...
By Desi Doyen on 12/7/2010, 1:00pm PT  


TWITTER: @GreenNewsReport
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IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: Happy Birthday, ANWR!; Go to hell, Sen. Inhofe!; You knew it had to be there: the WikiLeaks documents on last year's UN climate summit in Copenhagen ...PLUS: Stop-n-start in high stakes negotiations at this year's UN climate summit in Cancun, as climate science predictions come true around the world ... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): Einstein's Fridge: it runs on heat; World running out of new places to fish; Massey's controverial coal baron to retire; USDA removes major barrier to school salad-bar initiative; How some politicians stumble on science; Can wild rice halt mining in Minnesota?; BP: Gulf oyster biz still plagued by BP oil spill; Lobbyists buy big seat at the table of food safety legislation; New developments in harnessing tidal power; 5 Lessons From Haiti's Disaster ... PLUS: Yummy!: Why is flame retardant in your butter? ....

STORIES DISCUSSED IN TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

  • Einstein Invented A Fridge That Runs On Heat, Had No Moving Parts (Treehugger):
    [A]bsorption refrigerators ... are common in off-grid situations and because they run on heat, they are possibly key to the holy grail of solar powered air conditioning. Jennifer Ouellette explains on io9 that Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard developed and patented an absorption fridge from 1928 to 1933, eventually getting 45 separate patents for three different models.
  • World Running Out of New Places to Fish: Study (PLoS ONE, via Planet Ark):
    The world's fishing industry is fast running out of new ocean fishing grounds to exploit as it depletes existing areas through unsustainable harvesting practices, according to a study published Thursday.

    Expansion into unexploited fishing grounds allowed global catches to increase for decades, and disguised the fact that older areas were being depleted, according researchers at the University of British Columbia and National Geographic.

    "We knew the expansion was going on, but this is the first time we have quantified it," said Daniel Pauly, a scientist at the Vancouver-based university who co-authored the report published in the online journal PLoS ONE.

  • Massey's Blankenship to retire Dec. 31: Decision comes amid rumors that coal giant will be sold (Charleston Gazette):
    Don Blankenship, the outspoken and controversial CEO of Massey Energy, will retire effective Dec. 31, the company announced late Friday.

    The move comes amid persistent rumors that Richmond, Va.-based Massey will be sold to another mining firm, and as the company struggles to recover from the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in April, which killed 29 workers and was the worst U.S. mining disaster in more than 40 years.

  • Getting fresh in schools: USDA removes major barrier to Michelle Obama's salad-bar initiative (Grist):
    First Lady Michelle Obama announced last week that a new public-private partnership, Let's Move Salad Bars to Schools, would make it possible for as many as 6,000 salad bars to be installed in U.S. school cafeterias at an estimated cost of $15 million. Contrary to what hundreds of irate commenters directed to Grist from a link by the Drudge Report feared, the salad bars will not be mandatory lunchtime eating for the nation's youngsters, not taxpayer-funded. If parents like Sarah Palin want their kids to eat cookies for lunch, no one is going to stop them.
  • How some politicians stumble on science (USA Today) [emphasis added]:
    [T]hese studies are actually something much different than the complaints would suggest.
    ...
    Smith's district, interestingly enough, has received more than $5 billion in corn subsides since 1995, according to Agriculture Department data, enough taxpayer-handout money to fund nearly a whole year of National Science Foundation grants. By his taxpayer accounting, that's 500,000 families working all year long to hand out their money to farmers who saw corn prices reach about $7.88 a bushel in 2008, and who have enjoyed an ethanol boom, another federal handout, in the most recent of those years.
  • Minnesota Mining Debate Flows Into the Wild Rice Stands: (Minneapolis Star Tribune):
    In the fight over proposed mining projects in northern Minnesota, a new player with a surprising amount of clout has emerged --- wild rice.
  • Oyster Businesses Still Plagued by Gulf Oil Spill: (NPR):
    Many workers in Louisiana's seafood industry have returned to work months after the BP Gulf oil spill --- but oystermen whose families have been in the business for generations are still unable to harvest oysters.
  • Tidal Energy Tests the Waters (Daily Climate):
    A nascent technology, tidal power is destined to remain a niche player in the United States' energy portfolio. But the low-carbon energy source has one advantage over wind and solar: It's as dependable as the moon's phases. Investors and public utilities are taking notice."
  • For Food Safety Overhaul, Lobbyists Rushed to the Table (Washington Post):
    The overhaul of food safety laws recently passed by the Senate had the support of business interests, consumer groups and lawmakers from both parties, but the bipartisan legislation still generated plenty of work along the K Street corridor.
  • 5 Lessons From Haiti's Disaster:: What the earthquake taught us about foreign aid. (Foreign Policy Magazine):
    Haiti has 9.8 million people, and at least half were unemployed even before the earthquake. If we focused our efforts on the singular task of getting them jobs --- even if we did nothing else --- Haiti's reconstruction could be a success.
  • What's Flame Retardant Doing in Your Butter? (Philadelphia Inquirer):
    At the same time that you're buttering your morning toast, you also may be slathering it with the tiny amounts of the flame retardant PBDE.